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Archenhold's Almanac 2011

Issue 64 Dec / Jan 2011/2

Our LED expert Dr Geoff Archenhold takes us through the developments of the year that was and contemplates a slowing down of solid state lighting innovation in 2011.

Looking back at 2011 one could be significantly chastised for even suggesting that the LED and OLED lighting market could be slowing down, especially when all indications point to a rapid update of LED lighting. However, if one looks at the sector objectively then for certain companies within the supply chain, 2011 wasn’t outstanding and there could be tougher times ahead for many. For example, there is a huge bubble waiting to burst in relation to LED manufacturing that could force a major shift in the traditional leaders in LED manufacturing all caused by a huge over investment during the last few years in MOCVD equipment in Asia and particularly China where significant government subsidies are on offer to entice an aggressive and complete lighting supply chain. After visiting recent lighting exhibitions one could easily think that LED lighting is everywhere as the majority of fixture manufacturers now offer LED solutions. However, the reality is that LED lighting is still too expensive to reach the masses of applications and customers so that even a compound growth rate of 33% LED usage in 2011 isn’t enough to sustain the large number of installed LED reactors.

As highlighted by a recent Strategies In Light report, LED prices have plummeted 20-40% in 2011 and there is an expected shakeout of weaker players and new entrants without much experience that will inevitably fail or the market will see rapid mergers. As LEDs become more like commodities, only strong players with deep pockets will survive the fluctuations, much like DRAM and hard disk suppliers in markets of old.

Why is this important to us at the end of the lighting chain who are producing luminaires or specifying products? The shareholders in established companies such as Cree, Philips and OSRAM (parent Siemens) will find it even tougher to raise investment funds in core R&D and production facilities over the next few years especially as the return on investments diminish as the cost of LED emitters reduce. This will force the established companies to look at different strategies and focus on higher added value parts of the supply chain and could even see the odd spin-offs of LED manufacturing divisions. To a degree we are already seeing this occur with Cree buying well known fixture manufacturer Ruud Lighting, Siemens looking to IPO Osram at some point and an increase in patent licencing/litigation activities.

The bottom line is that this is good news for consumers as the cost of LEDs (and hence lighting fixtures) will reduce significantly over the next two or three years to help LED penetration. A report from Digitimes in Taiwan highlighted that the Taiwanese LED manufacturers are now targeting a price for LED packaging to reach 500lm per US$ in 2012 and to hit 1,000lm per US$ in 2015. This target is five years ahead of targets set by the US Department of Energy (DOE) which will surely set up Asia as a leader in high quality lighting especially if Asian companies acquire innovative western LED counterparts.

Always with sector positives there are negative consequences and in 2011 one of the major issues I have seen is the slowdown in lighting fixture innovation as companies have focused on reducing costs and rushing to get products to market. I expect this trend to continue in 2012 with the majority of “me too” LED products being launched which not only look similar but offer similar performance with the only difference being price. Therefore, LED fixture manufacturers will have to work harder in 2012 to differentiate themselves from competitors in order to maintain margin which all leads to an interesting couple of years. A further negative I have picked up recently due to the rapid cost-down of LED fixtures is the shift of investment from OLED research to LED fixture production as companies focused on revenues today rather than opportunities of tomorrow.

With all this said, 2011 has seen a number of breakthroughs as we shall now see...

Bridgelux: Updated its LED array product family with the expansion of the RS range by shattering industry standards for light output performance and significantly improving efficacy. The new RS Arrays delivered 3500 to 8000 operational lumens, an extended range of colour temperatures including warm, neutral and cool white (2700K to 5600K), and multiple colour rendering indices (CRI) options. The products were well received by the market to offer higher performance spotlights for retail and architectural lighting as well as higher performance exterior area lighting, replacing 70W cHID sources in several applications.

Cree: Further simplified indoor LED fixture design with its newly optimised XLamp MX-6 LEDs that feature higher flux options, new, longer lifetime estimates and higher CRI options. Cree also completed LM-80 testing on MX-6 LEDs that can enable quicker time to market for manufacturers designing ENERGY STAR-rated fixtures. The MX-6 LEDs are available in higher flux order codes offering light output of up to 122 lumens at 300mA in cool white (6000K) and up to 100 lumens at 300mA in warm white (3000 K). MX-6 LEDs are also available with 80 CRI minimum in warm white (2600K – 4300K) for both standard and high-voltage configurations. Based on LM-80 extrapolations and under normal operating conditions, MX-6 LEDs can provide an L70 lifetime of more than 150,000 hours using ENERGY STAR lifetime prediction methods. If used 24-hours-a-day, that equates to more than 17 years.

Cree also extended its LED module family with the Cree LMR2 LED Module, a compact, high-efficiency module that provides a simple solution for lighting designers and manufacturers looking to implement LED lighting.

Towards the end of January, Cree demonstrated the brightest, most-efficient, 60-watt standard LED replacement lamp. The prototype lamp shown in figure 1 is dimmable and emitted a warm, incandescent-like colour temperature of 2700 K, with a CRI greater than 90. The prototype delivered more than 800 lumens and consumed fewer than 10 watts.

Seoul Semiconductor: Launched the Z6 and Z7 LED range. The Z7 offers superior thermal performance, high-brightness white LED manufactured with a special ceramic PCB. The Z7 offers 5,500K colour temperature and 440lm brightness. In particular, the Z series offers an ultra-small package (9 X 7 X 3.2mm) for easy application to diverse indoor and outdoor lighting products.

The Z6 as shown in figure 2 uses a multi-die emitter that enables full colour applications possible within a single package. The four LED chips in the Z6 package can be individually operated in red, green, blue and white (1W each), operated at the same time, the white colour (4W) can be created in diverse colour temperatures (pure, warm and neutral). The Z6 is available in an ultra-small package (9 X 7 X 1mm), specially designed to create fancy lighting such as landscape lighting, stage lighting and digital signage based on full-color performance.
Cree: Announced the commercial availability of the LBR-30 LED lamp, aimed at replacing incandescent lamps commonly used in tracks, commercial and residential recessed downlights. Powered by Cree TrueWhite technology, the lamp delivers warm-white light with unrivalled colour accuracy and efficiency. A CRI of 94 that delivers 600 lumens, the LBR-30 is equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent BR30, while using only 12 watts of input power. The lamp is designed to last 50,000 hours in open fixtures.

Cree announced a new lighting-class LED designed for high-output, small form-factor directional lighting applications shown in figure 3 using multiple LED die. The XLamp MT-G LEDs are optimised for 35W-50W halogen MR16 retrofit lamps and other accent, track, display and down lighting used in retail stores, residential settings, museums, art galleries, hospitality and landscapes and are the first commercial LEDs to deliver sufficient light output for these applications. The XLamp MT-G LED is the first in the industry binned and tested at 85 degrees C which simplifies luminaire design calculations and speeds time-to-market. With a 9mm x 9mm footprint, the MT-G LED delivers up to 560 lumens at 1.1A at 85 C or up to 1525 lumens at 4A at 85 C in warm white (3000K).

Xicato: Launched higher efficacy versions of its top rated XSM 80 modules with efficacy increases of up to 50%. However, beyond the significant advancement in efficacy, the new 1000lm/700lm/400lm modules are mechanically, optically, and thermally (still 90°C max rated) backward-compatible with the existing modules. Depending on the driver the luminaire manufacturer uses they are also electrically backward compatible.

Sharp: Introduced the new 15 and 25W Mega Zeni models that are compact, lightweight, economical and extremely bright. The new models produce a light output of up to 2550 lumen (depending on the module), a luminous flux of up to 102lm/W and a long service life of 40,000 operating hours at a service temperature of 80°C. Measuring 24mm x 20mm x 1.8mm with an aluminium ceramic plate as the carrier material as shown in figure 4. The 15W Mega Zeni modules are operated using a forward voltage of 37V and a forward current of 400mA. With the 15W Sharp Mega Zeni series, the round LED matrix consists of a total of 96 LEDs that are arranged in eight parallel-switched series of twelve. The luminous flux is between 1350 and 1520lm (4000K 102lm/W).

The 25W Mega Zeni modules also have a forward voltage of 37V but are operated using a forward current of 700mA. With the 25W series, the round LED matrix consists of a total of 168 LEDs that are arranged in fourteen parallel-switched series of twelve. The use of a ceramic package enables very good temperature performance where a 26W array retains 92% of its lumen package even when the array package case temperature reaches 85C.

The new Sharp LED arrays also provide high CRI models up to 93 at CCT values up to 4000K and more impressive a typical CRI of 90 at CCT values up to 6500K.

Bridgelux: Announced it had achieved a major breakthrough with the demonstration of 135lm/W GaN-on-Silicon based LED Technology. This represents the industry’s first commercial grade performance for a Silicon-based LED.

When grown at scale, most LED epitaxial wafers use sapphire or silicon carbide substrates as the starting base material. But large diameter sapphire and silicon carbide substrates are costly, difficult to process, and not widely available. As a result, production costs have inhibited the widespread adoption of LED lighting in homes and commercial buildings. But growing GaN on larger, low-cost silicon wafers that are compatible with modern semiconductor manufacturing can deliver a 75% improvement in cost over current approaches.

The 135lm/W performance was achieved at a CCT of 4730K using a single 1.5mm power LED operated at 350mA. These LEDs have extremely low operating voltages, requiring just 2.90V at 350mA and <3.25V at 1 amp.  The low forward voltage and excellent thermal resistance of the devices make them ideally suited for high-performance, illumination-grade applications. Optimisation of the epitaxy process on 8-inch Si wafers will make LED manufacturing compatible with existing automated semiconductor lines. Bridgelux believe this technology will be commercially available by 2013 and significantly improve the price per kilolumen of all LEDs. What is sure is that the move to a Silicon substrate will be a revolutionary step for the LED industry.

Cree: Announced the availability of XLamp XM-L LEDs in neutral- and warm-white colour temperatures (2600K to 5000K CCT). The XM-L LEDs deliver unmatched performance across a wide range of drive currents. Warm-white (3000K) XLamp XM-L LEDs provide up to 113 lumens and 117 lumens per watt and neutral-white (4000K) XM-L LEDs provide up to 134 lumens and 138 lumens per watt, both at 350mA. At 700mA, warm-white (3000K) XLamp XM-L LEDs provide up to 220 lumens and 108 lumens per watt and neutral-white (4000K) XM-L LEDs provide up to 260 lumens and 128 lumens per watt. Driven at 3A, XM-L neutral-white LEDs produce 850 lumens at 84 lumens per watt.

Seoul Semiconductor: The Acriche A7 range was improved in terms of reliability and ESD-withstand and upgraded technology allows operation under both AC and DC power supplies (110V/220V) without the need for a converter. The 3.2W LED, provides 305 lumens in an ultra-small, ceramic-circuit package (8x8x3.7mm) which is  well-suited for commercial lighting products such as downlights, MR16, PAR30 and PAR38 replacement lamps.

The Acriche A8 was launched to replace 60W incandescent bulbs with a single package and reduced cost by removing the SMD process of dozens of DC LED packages on expensive metal substrates. The ultra-thin package (25 x 22 x 2mm) COB device provides 700lm output with enough efficiency to replace a 60W light bulb with only one A8 package.

Seoul Semiconductor: Announced the Z4 which provides the best brightness, efficiency and colour rendering properties of 1W LED with CRI greater than 85. The Z4 prevents degradation in high temperature and is available in two colours: warm white and cool white.

Cree: Announced the industry’s first lighting-class LED component that combines the high light output and small footprint of the XLamp XM-L LED package with Cree’s EasyWhite colour mixing technology. At just 4 watts of power, XM-L EasyWhite LEDs produce up to 340 lumens at an operating temperature of 85C in warm white (3000K) in a single component.

Cree also launched the LED LMH6 module, a high-lumen LED module designed to further simplify lighting design for Cree customers in Europe and Asia. The module targets commercial applications where high efficacy, brightness and light quality are critical, such as restaurants, retail, airports, schools and hospitality lighting. Designed to last at least 50,000 hours, the LMH6 module delivers 2000 lumens at 74 lumens per watt or 2900 lumens at 78 lumens per watt. It is available in 3000K and 4000K colour temperatures, both with a CRI of 90. Fully-integrated DALI dimming allows for greater flexibility and control when compared to traditional dimming systems.

Cree announced the LED-based CR family of solid-state-lighting (SSL) fixtures, shown in figure 5, that are designed specifically as alternatives to high-end, architectural, fluorescent fixtures in applications such as offices and schools. Delivering 90 to 110lm/W efficacy, the fixtures, according to Cree, will offer payback inside of one year relative to T8 linear fluorescent fixtures with comparable light output.

Cree will offer the luminaires in 1ft x 4ft (CR14), 2ft x 4ft (CR24), and 2ft x 2ft (CR22) versions. Each of the products is available in a choice of 3500K and 4000K colour temperatures, with a CRI of 90. Moreover, each are available in a number of performance options. For example, the CR24 comes in 2200-lm, 4000-lm, and 5000-lm models. In fact there are two choices at 4000 lm with the option of 90 or 110lm/W efficacy.

Luminus Devices: Together with T-Opto, announced the introduction of the SoloLux high output LED module, a high efficacy sub-system for high lumen general lighting applications that typically utilise a 175W metal halide source. SoloLux is designed for indoor and outdoor installations requiring many thousands of lumens such as parking area, roadway, canopy, high bay and high ceiling down lights. The patent-pending module produces up to 6,500 lumens from a single source that reduces fixture cost and complexity when compared against alternate solutions that use arrays of low power LEDs.

Luminus also launched the SSM-80, a surface mounted 4 die LED emitter that is available in a variety of colour temperatures. The large die area enables the 3000K to have an efficacy over 100lm/W and a flux over 1,600 lumens. The high density small form-factor light source is ideal for spot and directional applications and is available in ANSI compatible flux binning. The SSM-80 has a very low thermal resistance of 1.0C/W and the lumen maintenance is greater than 70% after 60,000 hours.

Bridgelux: Introduced the new Helieon 120V AC sustainable light module that eliminates the need for external electronic components, delivering a high quality TRIAC dimmable solution to simplify the design process. In addition to adding the electronic driver functionality, the available product options for the Helieon 120V AC module will be expanded with the introduction of a 2000 operational lumen option and the addition of a 120 degree viewing angle option to complement the 24, 32 and 50 degree options available today. The initial product launch will include 1200 and 2000 lumen performance options in 3000K CCT with 32 and 120 degree viewing angle options.

Bridgelux launched the third generation of its advanced LED Arrays, including its industry-leading LS, ES, and award-winning RS product families. This new product generation features the latest technical advancements in epitaxial GaN layer growth, LED chip design and packaging technologies, delivering an increase in efficacy of up to 20% and a reduction of up to 30% in the cost per lumen compared to previous product generations. The Bridgelux product portfolio includes light output performance ranging from 240 to 10,000 lumens continuing the expansion of the industry’s broadest range of high performance lighting class LED light sources. These third generation arrays are available in a broad range of colour temperatures ranging from 2700K to 5600K with 3 SDCM colour control options to enable clean and consistent lighting installations. Additionally multiple CRI options are now available, providing increased design flexibility for lamp and luminaire manufacturers.

OSRAM: Announced a new sub-1W LED that specifically targets linear and planar lighting. The company intends for the Duris E3 LEDs to be placed closely together in luminaires and linear retrofit tubes so that people perceive a uniform source of light rather than individual point sources. The Duris E3 LEDs have a broad 120° beam angle and measure only 3 x 1.4mm. Osram intends for the LEDs to be mounted closely together so that a person perceives a single bright strip of light.The new LEDs are offered in a broad range of colour temperatures ranging from 3000K to 6500K. At 5000K the LEDs feature a CRI of 72 and deliver efficacy of 110lm/W.

Philips Lumileds: Announced a royal-blue LED specifically for remote-phosphor SSL applications, and also launched the Luxeon A illumination-grade LED that’s part of the Freedom From Binning program. The new Philips Luxeon ES royal-blue LED delivers wall plug efficiency (also called overall luminous efficiency) of 56% at 350mA for remote-phosphor-based solid-state-lighting (SSL) designs. For LED lamp and luminaire designs that use white LEDs, Philips announced the Luxeon A LED (shown in figure 7) that measures 2sqmm and is also part of the company’s Freedom From Binning program. The Luxeon A LED comes in 2700K and 3000K colour temperatures and all Luxeon A emitters fall within a single 3-step MacAdam ellipse on the black body curve. The Luxeon A is the first single emitter that is part of the company’s Freedom From Binning program.

Cree: Reported a new record efficacy for a white LED which was measured at 231 lumens per watt using a single-die component at a correlated colour temperature of 4500K. The results were made at standard room temperatures and 350mA testing and the R&D results feature advanced aspects of the same technology used in current production white LEDs.

Seoul Semiconductor: Introduced the Z5P with a new LED chip technology that promises to deliver significant improvements in the lumen output of LEDs at high operating temperatures. Most lumen output figures on LED datasheets are measured at 25C but actual chip operating temperatures are usually far higher. It is generally accepted light losses at a junction temperature of 100C have been between 8 and 17% meaning that an LED quoted at 100 lumens will only deliver between 83–92 lumens during normal operation. The new SSC innovation in technology results in only a 2–5% reduction in lumens output at 100C thus providing superior operational performance. The first product utilising this new technology will be the Z5P with CCTs between 2600K and 7000K and up to a maximum lumen output of 140 lumens with a datasheet figure of up to 133 lumens at 100C junction temperature. The Z5P has a low thermal resistance (6C/W) with a maximum junction temperature of 145C at a forward current 1000mA.

OSRAM: Announced record breaking OLED efficacy by research and developers that have achieved 87lm/W in a product that closely resembles production OLED units. The breakthrough shown in figure 9 should pave the way for the potential acceleration of OLED adoption. This means that OLEDs are almost achieving the efficiency of fluorescent lamps in the laboratory. The measurements were performed under application-oriented conditions in an integrating sphere without macro extractors, i.e. lenses to optimise the measurement results.
Measurements were taken at a brightness of 1,000cd/m2 and a colour temperature of approximately 4,000K. A further success for the OSRAM research team was the laboratory sample achieved almost 75Im/W at a brightness of 5,000cd/m2. The organic functional material employed was already tested in pilot manufacturing and enables product-relevant lifetimes. The OLED laboratory sample was prepared using a pure thin-film approach. The current was distributed evenly over the active surface using a special injection electrode on the light-generating surface and offers homogenous light density from every angle.

Xicato: Increased XSM Artist Series Efficacy by over 45%. Xicato’s second generation XSM 700lm Artist Series module yields an efficacy of 48lm/W, approaching the efficacy of compact fluorescent lamps. With such an increase Xicato will soon surpass a benchmark lamp-source lumen per watt threshold of 50 lumen per watt, and without any compromise in light quality compared to conventional halogen.

Xicato announces the addition of a 1000lm Artist Series module with increased applications: higher mounting heights, suitability for both accent and ambient applications and greater accent factors. The new module power consumption is rated at 22.1W (700mA), yielding an efficacy of 45lm/W.

Bridgelux: Announced that it has shattered its previous industry record for highest lm/W values for Gallium Nitride on Silicon (GaN-on-Si). Using its proprietary buffer layer technology, the company has demonstrated growth of crack-free GaN layers on 8-inch silicon wafers, without bowing at room temperature, extending the company’s lead in driving the performance and manufacturability of GaN LEDs on silicon substrate.

Bridgelux demonstrated LED performance levels comparable to state-of-the-art sapphire-based LEDs. Cool white LEDs showed efficiencies as high as 160lm/W at a CCT of 4350K. Warm white LEDs constructed from the GaN on Si chips delivered 125lm/W at a colour temperature of 2940K and CRI of 80.

Seoul Semiconductor: Launched the Z7-F a high-power, high-brightness full-colour LED featuring high brightness lumen per watt performance (R: 75lm/W, G: 88lm/W, B: 15lm/W, W: 97lm/W). The lens-type package shown in figure 10 delivers more light and is provided in an ultra-small package (9x7x3.2mm).

Cree: Announced commercial availability of a new XLamp XT-E Royal Blue LED optimised for use in remote-phosphor lighting. Built using Cree’s proven Direct Attach LED technology that delivers higher flux, lower forward voltage and lower thermal resistance than other technologies, the XLamp XT-E Royal Blue LED delivers up to 525mW at 350mA and 85C. The new XT-E Royal Blue LED is also available in 2.5-nm wavelength bins to allow customers to achieve desired color consistency.

Cree announced the acquisition of Ruud Lighting at a net cost of approximately $525 million. Combining two highly complementary LED innovators, the acquisition allows Cree to extend its leadership position and increase the adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting.
Demonstrating the future of lighting, Cree unveiled a concept LED lamp from its lighting research and development team with a high-performance LED lamp delivering more than 1,300 lumens at 152lm/W using Cree TrueWhite Technology (figure 11).

Lighting Science Group: Announced the Definity 60W-equivalent replacement lamp to be priced at less than $15 that will be jointly manufactured by Lighting Science Group and electronics manufacturer Dixon Technologies, first targeting the LED lighting market in India beginning year-end 2011. At a retail price below $15, the payback from electricity savings versus incandescent light bulbs is eight months and the LED bulb has an expected life of approximately eight years.
Philips: Philips Lighting North America has announced that it has won the US Department of Energy’s 60-watt replacement bulb category of the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition. Samples of the Philips 10-watt LED lamp were submitted in 2009 and have completed 18 months of field, lab and product testing. Performance requirements included an output in excess of 900lm, and a useful lifetime of more than 25,000 hours.

Xicato: Applied the new IESNA TM-21-11 methodology with LM79 and LM80 data to its high current, high flux XSM module LM-80 data set and it yielded an L94 (94% of original light output) at 50,000hrs demonstrating the longevity of its technology as shown in figure 12.
Xicato launched an effective, directional 3500K flux module that is not available in conventional sources. For the first time consistency between an ambient lighting layer of 3500K, with a 3500K accent layer can be achieved. For markets that have not historically used 3500K, this new CCT is simply another tool for lighting designers.

OSRAM: Announced they had set the luminous intensity record with an LED spotlight. For the first time ever a laboratory had successfully generated a rating of 124,000 candelas for an LED spotlight with a coverage angle of 7.5 degrees and 4075 lumens. Thus, combined with a very good colour rendering of 92 and a warm white 3000K colour temperature, LED spotlights now reach a power range that to date had been previously reserved for high-intensity discharge lamps. This kind of spotlight is of particular interest for architecture and shop illumination, where they create new possibilities. In order to attain these high ratings, the phosphors, as well as the connection technology, were adjusted for optimum results. In addition to innovations in the development of light generating areas, the latest generation of chip technology is also used: the UX:3.

Europe: The European phase-out of low-efficiency lamps, which began two years ago, now encompasses clear 60W incandescent lamps. From September, the 60W incandescent lamp can no longer be manufactured in Europe or imported into the region. The new regulation comes into force as a result of the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC), which has already outlawed 100W and 75W incandescent lamps (in September 2009 and September 2010, respectively). Fortunately, one can still purchase 40W incandescent bulbs whilst LED bulb equivalents improve in quality and reduce in price!

Bridgelux: Launched the Décor LED array range with a CRI of 97 and a 3-step MacAdams Ellipse colour control option. The decor arrays enable lighting designers to truly render a full palette of colours over a wide range of light levels to create stunning and sophisticated lighting effects. Delivering 1200 to 2500 lumens, the new arrays have been spectrally engineered to closely replicate the light quality of halogen and incandescent light sources up to 150W and are ideal for retail applications. These arrays deliver R9 and R15 values of 98, to both enhance reds and represent skin tones accurately, ensuring clean and natural lighting.

Bridgelux also announced the introduction of the Micro SM4 that dramatically reduces the component count, cost, complexity and size of the lighting system, enabling a cost-effective, high performance LED solution for diffuse and directional lighting, such as 20-40 watt incandescent, 20-35 watt halogen, B10-style (candelabra), and low wattage compact fluorescent lamp replacements.

Using only 4.6 watts of power, the Micro SM4 will deliver between 330 and 520 lumens in both warm white (2700K and 3000K) and cool white (5600K) colour temperatures. Minimum 80 and 90 CRI options, with 3-step MacAdams Ellipse colour selections, will be offered for warm white products.  Production shipments of the Micro SM4 will be available in the first quarter of 2012.

Xicato: Launched two new higher flux XLM 3000lm and 4000lm modules that directly match the optical performance of Ceramic Metal Halide double-ended, and single-ended lamps. The two modules possess an efficacy of over 70 lumens per watt, full dimmable to 0.1%, with instant-on and colour point consistency to 1 x 2 SDCM initially and overtime. The new XLM modules provide luminaires with a new light source for incorporation into accent and architectural lighting luminaires.

Xicato is one of the first LED module companies to publish ‘Light Quality for Life’ information that determines how the LED module deviates over elongated testing. Alongside the current lumen maintenance data often found by manufacturers, Xicato published colour shift data (see figure 13) on six test modules which demonstrated consistent <2SDCM colour points to 6,000hrs+. Sustained quality of light, not simply lumen maintenance, is core to Xicato’s philosophy.

Seoul Semiconductor: Launched the Acriche 2 in 4W, 8W, 12W and 16W LED boards providing bulb replacement LED solutions to replace 40W, 60W and 100W incandescent bulb as well as MR16 halogen lamps and standard down lights. The Acriche 2 has been increased more than 90% in power efficiency by improving the power factor up to 95%, THD has become lower than 25% to comply with the requirement of each country requirements. Through cutting edge technology placed on the LED IC, lighting manufactures can directly plug the modules into the wall socket without considering any electrical drivers. The Acriche 2 platform is seen in figure 14.

Citizen Electronics: Developed five new packages and eleven types of LEDs in six different colour temperatures. The world’s first LED producing high luminous flux of 17,675 lm in 5,000K CCT and Ra of 65 has been achieved and the luminous flux per LED is dramatically increased from 4,390 lumens, which was the highest luminous flux of Citizen’s conventional array models.

It is now possible to select from an LED range based on luminous flux (approximately 100lm to 17,675lm) and luminous efficacy (125lm/W to 96lm/W) per LED. The increased performance of the LEDs are due to high heat dissipation through the placement of LED Chips on an aluminum chip on board substrate and high efficiency light extraction.

The new LED arrays are are compliant with the chromaticity control standard 3-Step MacAdam ellipses which is about a ninth of the chromaticity range of ANSI C78.377.

Cree: Extended the advantage of its industry-leading XLamp LED family with the announcement of new levels of performance for its highly efficient XLamp XP-G LEDs, now delivering up to 140 lumens per watt. The cool white XLamp XP-G provides up to 148 lumens and 141 lumens per watt, while the outdoor white (4000K) XP-G LED delivers up to 139 lumens and 132 lumens per watt and warm white (3000K) offers up to 122 lumens and 116 lumens per watt, all at 350mA.

By leveraging the popular XP-G LED form factor, these increases in brightness and efficacy can shorten the LED fixture design cycle and improve customer time to market, with drop-in-ready performance enhancements. Cree XP-G LEDs also boast the longest projected lifetime data published from lighting-class LEDs by publishing 10,000 hours of lifetime data that can allow customers to project TM-21 reported lifetimes greater than 60,000 hours, or nearly seven years.

Cree announced the commercial availability of high-voltage XLamp XT-E and XM-L LEDs. These new LEDs can enable the use of more efficient, smaller drivers to lower cost for compact lighting applications such as candelabras and retrofit lamps.

The XLamp XM-L LED delivers up to 600lm in Cool White (6000K) and up to 462lm in Warm White (3000K) at 6W, 85C. The XLamp XT-E LED delivers up to 300 lm in Cool White (6000K) and up to 228lm in Warm White (3000K) at 3W, 85C. Both LEDs have a typical voltage of 46V at binning conditions.

Cree also launched the new MT-G LED that is now more than 10 percent brighter, and can deliver up to 1670 lumens at 85C in warm white (3000K) colour temperatures. Additionally, MT-G LEDs are now available in high CRI (90 min) versions optimised for applications such as retail and restaurant lighting where high CRI and lighting uniformity are required.

OSRAM: Claimed a record efficacy value for a red LED prototype demonstrated in the company’s R&D laboratory (figure 15). The efficacy was 201lm/W at an operating current of 40mA, and over 168lm/W at a typical operating current of 350mA. The record efficacy values were achieved for a 1sqmm chip housed in a laboratory package and emitting at a wavelength of 609nm. The red LED’s wall-plug efficiency was 61%. The company said that the increase in output was enabled by advances in thin-film technology. The results of this project can be extended to all the wavelengths in InGaAlP chip technology and Osram will be introducing the results of this development project across the entire wavelength spectrum into production by the end of 2012.

Bridgelux: Announced a step change to the energy efficiency of their entire ES and RS LED range with a similar performance gain and cost reductions as introduced during the May performance increase.
The latest products include the broad availability of ANSI specific colour targets, minimum 80 and minimum 90 CRI options for warm white, and 3 SDCM binning options.

What to expect in 2012...

Xicato: “The LED module segment will be firmly established. Future-proofing becomes a must-have feature. Detailed claims of ‘future-proof’ more carefully examined. Lumen maintenance standards established (LM-79/LM-80/TM-21). Focus now shifts to maintained colour quality over lifetime. Incandescent lamp bans become tenable with the wider domestic usage of LED sources with a light quality on a par with them.”

Bridgelux: “Although the LED Industry has been talking about the mass adoption of solid state lighting for many years, it is now reaching cost and performance thresholds that will enable a rapid expansion of applications enabled by acceptable payback periods. LEDs can now address the quantity and quality of light needed to displace nearly all traditional light sources, dramatically expanding the potential for growth. The LED Array, a relatively new solution compared to the LED Emitter, has both enabled new lighting applications difficult to service with discrete emitters and significantly simplified the design process for Luminare OEMs. While no single light source is perfect for all applications, we expect to see significant market growth for LED arrays as they address several key customer pain points and enable high quality lighting for a variety of applications.

Seoul Semiconductor: “We will increase our production capacity from 1 billion to 4 billion LED packages per month with the launching of the second Ansan plant and plans to achieve economies of scale by increasing our production capacity and to enhance its role as a global LED manufacturer. We will continue to invest approximately 15% of sales turnover in R&D every year and produce its own LED dies every two years. We are continuing to invest in acquiring patents and already have more than 6,400 which is one of the largest portfolios on the market. LED arrays will continue to grow but will not necessarily see the largest growth rate as flat panels, retrofit bulbs and tubes will also continue to grow as well.”

Luminus Devices: “We believe that new markets and applications will require high-lumen directional illumination especially in entertainment, projection and UV LED lighting applications. 2012 will see improving performance, quality and aesthetics of general lighting, focusing on high-lumen directional fixtures, high centre beam candle power, and the elimination of multi-source shadowing. The LED industry will concentrate on reducing cost and complexity by leveraging Lean Manufacturing plus the reduction of system-level complexity and cost.”

iDrive: “During 2012 LED drivers will start to integrate sensors directly thus reducing the overall cost of LED lighting systems that need separate controls. Therefore, ambient light sensors, occupancy sensors and even colour sensors that enable LED fixture to maintain exactly the same CCT, CRI and lumen values throughout the life of the luminaire resulting in zero lumen and colour quality maintenance degradation. The market penetration of LED drivers for healthy lighting will start as the market realises that high quality drivers with low ripple current and no LED pulsing offer improved visual experience can be simply integrated into lighting systems. Finally, customers will start to specify wide dynamic dimming range lighting systems that dim below 0.1% and act in a similar dimming fashion to incandescent or halogen light sources.” 

2011 has been a solid year in performance gains for LEDs and LED fixtures, however the advance of OLEDs has been less stunning and they may be relegated to niche applications in the future due to a lack of investment to get OLED products to market.

The continuous improvement of LED quality throughout 2011 has enabled LEDs to continue its dominant growth within general lighting applications. The improvement in lumen maintenance, colour consistency and efficacy means that T8 and T5 fluorescent lamp fixtures are now firmly in the firing line of LED fixtures. Retail lighting applications have started to convert Halogen and CMH lamp sources to high CRI LED fixtures. Improvements in LED performance at higher operating temperatures with new flip-chip designs from Seoul Semiconductor for example, allow lighting fixture manufacturers to create improved products that will disappoint end users less when they compare actual lighting figures with their often falsified datasheets!
2011 has seen a reduction in innovative product launches (too many ‘me too’ products launched) but a general increase in the choice of LED products available to end users combined with a reduction in price enabled a rapid uptake in LED based lighting.

The advent of high efficacy, high CRI LED arrays has enabled compact, high lumen and efficacy outputs that now enable LED fixtures to compete with CMH and Halogen spot lights in retail applications.

Further consolidation of lighting companies will continue in 2012 with traditional lighting companies looking to further support the higher value integration of control and building managements systems along with leaders in LED lighting.

Geoff Archenhold has been seconded twice to the UK Government to support the Lighting, LED and Photonics industry and currently helps LED companies develop business plans to raise investment from the finance community. He is an active investor in LED driver and fixture manufacturers and a lighting energy consultancy. The views expressed in this article are entirely those of Geoff Archenhold and not necessarily those of mondo*arc.


Figure 1: The Cree prototype 60W lamp replacement using only 10W of LEDs.

Figure 2: Seoul Semicondustcor's Z6 multi-die LED emitter with RGB and W die.

Figure 3: Cree's multi-LED MT-G.
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